Fear of Death and creatures returning from the Afterlife to torment the living is a universal theme. From Asia to South America, from Africa to Europe, the folklore of each continent has added more and more legends over the centuries, which were communicated first verbally, then in print and finally through film, comics and, in recent decades, through video games. In 2021, this pantheon of horror will receive a new character: la Dama Ciega, The Blind Maid, the spectre of a woman with a tragic past that will haunt us in the new production of Waraní Studios for Badland Publishing, The Origin: Blind Maid.
This Paraguayan team has created its own myth, that of a woman who lost her sight due to dramatic events that we will discover throughout the game, based on the rich folklore of Paraguay and specifically of Gran Chaco, a region that borders Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Besides the Blind Maid, in the game we will meet other supernatural creatures, rooted in the culture of the South American continent, such as the Karai Vosa.
To conceive the Blind Maid, the members of Waraní Studios were inspired by a myth common to many cultures around the world: the female ghost in search of revenge. We have collected some of these legends, and although some are better known than others, they all have one thing in common: they are the product of a tragic past and will give you all kinds of nightmares.
Possibly one of the most popular Hispanic-American myths, to the point of having inspired a recent horror film (located within the universe of Ed and Lorraine Warren, such as The Conjuring, Annabelle or The Nun). La Llorona (the weeping woman) even made an appearance in Red Dead Redemption 2, if we committed the senselessness of going into the swamps at night. The roots of this female ghost, marked by tragedy after drowning her children in the river, go back to the pre-Columbian era. From Mexico to Peru, from the Amazon to the plains of Argentina, the figure of the suffering soul that stalks those who dare to walk near a river at night is common to all cultures of the continent, although under different names. The myth is also present in Spain, specifically in Asturias, where it is known as La Lavandera (the Laundry Woman).
The female spectre myth is also part of Irish folklore. In this case, it is known as Banshee, a derivation of the Gaelic “bean sidhe”, which could be translated as “woman of the mounds”. They are messengers of misfortune and their howls are capable of breaking the eardrums of the unfortunate who encounter them at night. The Banshee has been honored in many works of fiction, including video games and comics. In fact, that was the name of one of the most remembered members of Chris Claremont’s X-Men, who was able to use his sonic screams to fly (a skill he also demonstrated in the 2011 film).
From Scotland we traveled to Japan, a land with a rich tradition of ghosts and demons. One of the most terrifying ghouls, which we did not know until the members of Waraní Studios told us about it, is Teke Teke. Its name may sound laughable… until you discover that it is due to the noise that the spine of this unfortunate lady makes as she crawls on the ground. The lower part of her body was separated from the rest after being run over by a train… and now she cries out for revenge, cutting her victims in half with the help of a scythe.
Among the terrifying myths that the native tribes of North America have bequeathed to us, the best known is undoubtedly the Wendigo (a creature, formerly human, that feeds on human flesh) but we have preferred to pay attention to another legend of those lands, also related to famines: Acheri. She is represented as a young woman, just a child, extremely emaciated, who comes down from the mountains to transmit diseases. In life she became ill, and her parents decided to abandon her in the forests before continuing to spend their few provisions on her. They were bad people.
La Viuda de Negro
Chilean folklore has a wide pantheon of female ghosts in search of revenge. There is La Lola (who carries the coffin of her husband, whom she murdered out of jealousy), La Condená (who wanders eternally because of the sins she committed in life) and, of course, La Viuda de Negro (Black Widow). This lady, dressed in mourning from head to toe, stalks lonely travelers to take revenge on the love of her life, who unwillingly abandoned her. In the days when people traveled on horseback, she bewitched both rider and saddle by guiding them to cliffs to throw them off. Nowadays, it is rumored that she wanders along the roadside, waiting for some unwary person to pick her up in his car.
La Siguanaba / Cegua
The origin of this creature reflects the fusion between Mesoamerican mythology and the cultural influence of the Spanish invaders. Depending on the territory (its footprint is present from the United States to Colombia and Venezuela, passing through all Central America), it has received different names, such as La Cegua, La Caballona or La Siguanaba, but in all cases it has a common appearance: a beautiful woman who asks for help on the lonely roads, in the middle of the night, and then transforms herself into a grotesque being with a horse’s head.
The ghostly folklore goes far beyond the typical lady in white who lives in European castles and it is interesting to discover that even with oceans away, all cultures have shared the same fears and superstitions over the centuries. Waraní Studios is going to add a new nightmare to this catalog, one that we will experience up close: not from the lips of our grandparents around the fireplace, but face to face, through PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC from the second quarter of 2021. Get ready to shiver with The Origin: Blind Maid.